Approving the restorations, spirits are friendly presences supporting the living.
This 1856 Italianate style, large wood and brick mansion has two floors, the customary attic, basement, and an addition of a two story wing onto the original mansion. Inside, the use of wood reminds the visitor that this indeed was a home built for a wealthy banker, despite the fact that this mansion evolved in its use over the years. It has glorious black walnut/chestnut woodwork throughout the mansion.
For quite awhile, it has been a restaurant, using the rooms in both floors as various dining rooms. The tavern area is found in the large room just inside the side door off the parking lot. There is an old fashioned wooden long bar, and tables and booths laid out around this large room, which could’ve been the main dining room when it was a private residence.
Off the main entry hall there is a large parlor on the left used as a nicer dining room and the gorgeous wooden staircase is found in the middle of the entry hall which leads up to the second floor and the addition.
Smaller, more intimate dining rooms are found upstairs. Outside, there are barbecue grills and picnic benches.
Harmony as a town was founded by pacifist German Lutheran Separatists in 1804. They chose this lovely spot to start their communal group, which flourished until they took the vow of celibacy in 1807. In 1814, the Harmonists sold their property to a group of Mennonites when they moved to Indiana. Though the Mennonite church closed its doors in 1902, many of Harmony’s current population are descendants of the Mennonites who settled here
The Harmony Inn was built in 1856, as a private residence of Austin Pearce, a prominent Banker, railroad operator and executive. Mr. Pearce wound up having to sell his mansion to a new owner, sometime after the Civil War.
Throughout the mansion’s history, it has been used for many purposes, besides a private residence. It became a hotel, a meeting house, a livery stable, a boarding house, a tavern and restaurant.
In the late 1800s, the Ziegler family who transformed the mansion into a hotel and salon, putting this fine building to work. In 1900, the Zieglers added the two story wing to expand their hotel business. Throughout the 20th century, this place had a series of owners. In 1985, Carl Beers and Gary & Betsy Bones bought this building and property which by this time was in need of TLC and restoration. Luckily, these folks fell in love with the place and agreed to start the long process of repair and restoration. One of the big jobs was to strip off the paint on the woodwork inside and restore it to its original beauty.
Besides being a restaurant and private party location, the Harmony Inn on occasion has dinner theatre.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
So many people have owned this place and visited it as a business over the years, it is hard to say who the spirits are who haunt the restaurant now. It is thought that some of these entities think of themselves as helpful guardians of the living, really pleased with all the hard work these owners have put into their business and the building, who seem to care as much about the place as the entities did when they were living and owned the property.
The owners say it this way, “This spirit is a sort of guardian of a big block of time and its primary goal is to link the past, present and future.”
Sudden, fatal accidents can cause hauntings because the victim wasn’t ready to pass on. Local people believe that one of the entities here is the spirit of a man who fell down the stairs and broke his neck. He is called Barney.
Spirit of a Friendly Presence
The staff and the sensitive have felt a warm, friendly, supportive presence keeping them company as they carry out their duties.
Apparitions of Spirits
Entities, such as the image of a man appearing in mirrors — and mists have formed upstairs, all seen by staff, owners and some patrons.
There have been many media reports about the entities who reside at the Harmony Inn, many of which are posted on the wall in the bar area. Some of the radio stations and newspaper in western Pennsylvania who have confirmed these paranormal occurrences are KDKA, WDOCI, Pittsburgh Press, and Post Gazette.
Some quick photographer snapped a picture of the image of the man in a mirror, which is also on display in the bar area.
Spirit of the Young Girl
Psychics have felt the presence of a young lame, handicapped girl, who limps around the restaurant.
A child, who was probably the daughter of an owner, died here of a handicap she was born with.
Spirit of Barney
Objects have been known to move by themselves.
Local people claim that objects are moved by Barney.
Signs of Unseen Presences
Staff and patrons alike have felt unexplained cold air move by them, as if an unseen presence or two passed by them.
Unexplained electrical impulses have been noted.
At least three entities make the Harmony Inn their home, friendly and warm to the living, willing to share their place with them!
We talked to our waitress about the ghosts and she confirmed some of what has been said above.
The paranormal research group, Spirited Ghost Hunting (In western PA and eastern Ohio) is planning an investigation at the Harmony Inn.
They got permission to take a look around beforehand on the second floor and got some interesting pictures.
I’m looking forward to seeing the results of their research!
230 Mercer Street
Harmony, Pennsylvania 16037
The Harmony Inn can be found in a small community of Harmony, located about 33 minutes north of Pittsburgh.
- The story off the menu
- Waitress interview
- Newspaper clippings hanged and mounted on the walls
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr